1. JEF7REY HILDNER | ARCHITECT — Q.F.B.
- Publication date
- THE ARCHITECT PAINTER PRESS | Since 2005
- JEF7REY HILDNER
♞|7 Internet Archive Wayback Machine stores some of my published essays and personal websites:
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
—Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949)
WHERE WE WOULD STAY YOUNG TOGETHER AND LIVE FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES
BY JEF7REY HILDNER, THE ARCHITECT PAINTER PRESS, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
Projected release date of the book: November 29, 2027
(Projected completion date of the memorial: September 9, 2024)
12.07.19 | Excerpt from the chapter "Flight Plan":
I'm an INFJ. I like road maps. I like to plan my trips, have the basics all mapped out, all lined up, before I go. Not everything. I like the unexpected. Pray for the unexpected. But Departure Flights and Return Flights? Those I like to pin down.
And that's one of things that I'm doing by creating this book. One of the things I'm doing by creating the building that this book is about. Pinning down my Departure Flight. Seems unlikely that I will find a Return Flight. But then you never know what key might one day unlock the mystery of the Architecture of the Cosmos of Reality . . .
Yes, this book is my Flight Reservation. I'm getting everything ready for my trip. By the time I board, I hope my suitcase will be well packed. But not the suitcase I'm taking with me. The suitcase I'm leaving behind. To be remembered by . . .
Laura Middleton already hopped her Departure Flight. Her Departure Flight swooped in and tore her away from me. We were unprepared. For everything. Everything that landed on the doorstep of death.
Her sudden exit taught me: Prepare. Do what I do best. Get everything ready. Get everything under my control all lined up. Because designing buildings and supervising their construction has etched into my mind this reality for me: I don't like surprises unless I know about them ahead of time.
Because surprise surprise, departure from Spaceship Earth is going to happen. For everyone. Everyone goes out feet first. How and when? Who knows. But if? There is no if. Departure is a given. It’s a zero-surprise reality. We know about it ahead of time.
And, sadly, the reality of my inevitable departure from Spaceship Earth, well, it's a reality I didn't get until Laura’s tragedy forced me to get it. Her ordeal, her premature departure, woke me up. Slapped me around the head, beat me up, forced me to get real, to get a frickin' clue, to grow up. And also to do something about it. Do something about how the timeline of human life works: Refuse to be a victim of fake "surprise." Be instead a creator. Because thanks to David Emerald's book The Power of T.E.D., I know that the opposite of a victim is a creator. And I see clearly that there is something I can do: Prepare. Anticipate. Game plan.
I don't plan to go soon. I hope to stay for a long time. But I already feel all lined up with my true self just by choosing to get ready. Just by looking a few moves ahead in the chess game of my life. And through this book and the preceding book, LIVE BRAVE: A Tribute to Laura Middleton, and through the memorial in stone that I built in Laura's honor and this book is about [as I write this chapter, years before the book is published, I'm actually currently designing the memorial], I'm getting ready for my Departure Flight. I choose not to put my head in the sand and pretend that human life never ends. I choose, instead, to bravely foresee that somewhere along my human timeline—ideally, at a very distant point on that timeline—I will board my Departure Flight, its ETD in accord with the Great Transit Schedule of Life.
I'm prepping to catch up with Laura . . . at the precise moment . . . along the storyline of our intertwined lives.
♞|7 The name of the memorial might be up in the air more than I thought when I wrote the book LIVE BRAVE: A Tribute to Laura Middleton. Until tonight, I assumed that the title of the memorial, originally LIVE BRAVE | The Middleton Memorial, was carved in stone (pun intended)—even though the memorial will be not only for Laura, house her ashes, but also for us and for me, for my ashes, will be my so-called resting place, a memorial in memory of Laura but also in memory of us and in memory of me. Which has stirred in me a conflict about the fit between the name of the memorial and its multi-faceted purpose. So I'll keep the project title paint wet as long as I can and let the title develop as I journey through the design process, confident that I will know without confusion when I need to know, confident that the Polaroid snapshot of the memorial will slowly but surely go from dim to bright.
But as of tonight, June 26, 2020, I'n inclined to give the title a twist, add some mystery: LIVE B.R.A.V.E. | The Middleton Memorial
♞|7 And as far as the fact goes that I will one day dwell there, so to speak, along with Laura—that I will one day board my Departure Flight from the memorial's Transit Room—this I will withhold in the title of the memorial and the book that documents the memorial. . . but will reveal through various indirect and direct ways throughout the many layers of the memorial's architecture.
I lean toward keeping myself in the supporting role and Laura in the lead role, as far as the memorial's title goes, trusting that I will somehow find a way to deftly weave the threads of our story into a work of architecture that reasonably and pleasingly fits the memorial's title character, Laura. Some of my favorite movies employ this storytelling device. Movies like Her, Mother, Coco, Klaus, and Annie Hall set us up for a journey by the main character who isn't the title character. (I point this out in "Joy Story," my IMDb commentary about Klaus.) And the realization through page and concrete of both book and building— LIVE BRAVE: A Tribute to Laura Middleton and LIVE B.R.A.V.E. | The Middleton Memorial—is, after all, my journey, the architect's journey . . . seeking to grok the world . . .
Dear sweet angel, Emily Madison, little tiger, I don't want you to worry . . . to shoulder the emotional burden of my transition. I got everything all squared away. You don't have to do a thing. Except engrave my EDD (Earth Departure Date) on the North Star Memory Wall of LIVE B.R.A.V.E. | The Middleton Memorial. And tuck a box of at least some of my ashes next to the box of Laura's ashes into the inside face of the North Star Memory Wall—in the Transit Room, the Secret Chamber of the Muse and her Silver Knight, at the heart of the Labyrinth.
At Masonic Lawn Cemetery, in Sacramento, California.
I will always love you, Emily. To the stars . . . infinity . . . and beyond. And I will miss you. Terribly. More deeply than words could convey. But I'm on a mission. And so are you, darling. Now go. Fulfill your destiny.
And Expect Brave. Because we will meet again, my dazzling, good daughter. Probably when and where we least expect. And we will again watch movies together—Armageddon, Ali, The Insider, Casablanca, Chinatown, Manhattan, Annie Hall, and (best movie ever) Fir Crazy. We will watch sunsets over a new Pacific from a bluff on some other spaceship in the Galaxies of Reality . . . some other Room in the House of Life.
Till then . . .
Q.F.B., goldenhearted, intuitivehearted, herohearted, Maddie.
Quest Forward Brave.
Don't be afraid. Hymn #9. Listen to The Voice (shhh . . . Voice Whisperer). 5 good reasons. Not a classic anecdote. That's all you gotta say, Scariest Environment Imaginable. So, uhh. "WAY better than Tigers." More will be revealed (except . . . ).
As I will surely, eternally remember you . . . until we see each other again . . .
AWARD-WINNING ARCHITECT, PAINTER, AND WRITER JEF7REY HILDNER launched The Architect Painter Press in 2005 under the banner, “Live Brave.” The Architect Painter Press presents Hildner’s buildings, paintings, and insights—work that reflects his focus on the visible and invisible architecture of art and life.
Current titles range from Hildner's books VISUAL EF9ECTS / Architecture and the Chess Game of Form & Story, Daedalus 9, Henry Trucks — Painter, Picasso Lessons, and Garches 1234 to his books Metaphysical Warrior and Live Brave.
The Architect Painter Press also seeks to present the work of other artists and will soon take the first step toward that goal by publishing the paintings of Richard Rosa in the forthcoming book Field Games, for which Hildner wrote the Publisher's Foreword: "Book 9."
In addition to his eight books (through February 2021)—which doesn't include additional paperback books, the 64-page first edition and 68-page second edition of Henry Trucks — Painter, books that he created on the run-up to producing the definitive 150-page large format hardcover: casewrap and dust jacket—Hildner has created esteemed artwork (buildings and paintings) and crafted celebrated essays that appear in a wide array of venues beyond the pages of The Architect Painter Press. His list of outside publications tallies over 400 and runs the gamut—from The Christian Science Journal and Christian Science Sentinel, two magazines that he served for over nine years as senior editor, senior writer, and creative director, to Journal of Architectural Education, ANY, Oz, IMDb, Architecture New Jersey, Architectural Record, and Global Architecture Houses.
Hildner has also contributed significant essays to books by other authors. The book Architectural Formalism, by Hakan Anay, features a Turkish translation of Hildner’s essay “Formalism: Move | Meaning” (first published by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture then updated for the addendum in Visual Ef9ects), which appears alongside essays by distinguished theorists Rosalind Krauss, Peggy Deamer, Robert Slutzky, and Colin Rowe. The book Connective Tissues, by Peter Waldman, features Hildner's Epilogue, "Labyrinth R.U.N."
Actively involved in architectural education since 1989—his first gig was as a visiting critic for a graduate design studio at The University of Texas at Arlington—Hildner received, in 1993, while teaching full-time at New Jersey Institute of Technology, a "New Faculty Award" from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture for excellence in teaching. He has variously lectured, conducted seminars on architectural theory, and led design studios at many universities—including University of Tennessee, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Pratt Institute, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design | The New School, and Syracuse University Florence, where he participated in the spring 2016 symposium on Formalism (code name: "The F Word"). His symposium presentation, "Visual Ef9ects," as well as his Syracuse University Florence follow-up lecture, "The House of the Human Face," form the basis for his book Visual Ef9ects.
Æ Ventures Foundation, New York City, awarded Hildner a generous grant in 2012 to support his endeavor as a painter. His artwork Ithaca Collage (40 x 40 in.) was displayed at The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster, New Jersey, in their 2010 juried International "Art in Architecture" Exhibition. In 2012, he created the commissioned giclee-on-canvas Ithaca g aka Chess Lawn (1 x 1.85 m), a digital remix of his oil on canvas Ithaca (16 x 20 in.), for the offices of the Fujitsu Corporation in Hamburg, Germany. His project Dante | Telescope House won the 1995 New Jersey Chapter of The American Institute of Architects “Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Design.”
Hildner paints under the name Henry Trucks. He writes under the names Jeffrey Hildner, Madison Gray, Eliot Plum, and Michelangelo A. Roland Slate. Hildner’s one-word life theme—architecture—shapes his quest, his outlook, and his output, including his work as screenwriter and story architect. A magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he also earned his master’s degree in architecture, he lives in Sacramento, California, where he dares not fly too close to the sun . . . but hopes to always . . .
NOTE: UNLESS OTHERWISE ATTRIBUTED, ALL ASSERTIONS ABOVE BY JEF7REY HILDNER —
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